Creamfields – the Crème de la Crème of Electronic Music Festivals
So, you may have guessed that all of us over here at Licklist are pretty keen on music and festivals; and you’d be right. And in keeping with our shared interests, my super lovely bosses decided that they’d send me to Creamfields Festival to review it (thanks guys!) As a big fan of electronic music, I couldn’t wait and so, with my girlfriend in tow, we set off for Warrington to see what Creamfields had to offer. Safe to say, it really didn’t disappoint; there’s so much that I could talk about in this review, but we don’t want to be here all day, so without further ado, here are my top highlights from this year’s Creamfields.
When we first arrived, the first thing which really struck me was the sheer size of the festival. The entire festival was fenced off to keep away all those pesky gate-crashers and, honestly, it looked like the T-Rex enclosure from Jurassic Park; the space looked enormous. This was also made even more apparent as we came into view of the campsites; tents stretched out as far as the eye could see. There certainly wasn’t going to be a shortage of people. Now, my wonderful bosses had got us tickets for Gold Camping (oooh, how fancy) and the site was fantastic. When we arrived it was p*ssing it down (obviously, it’s an English festival, duh) but for the rest of the festival the weather was fab and sitting outside the tent looking out over the rest of festival area in the sun really was fantastic.
Perks of the Job
There were also some special privileges for Gold and Silver camping ticket holders, and we were excited to try out the luxuries. In the Gold campsite there were fancy toilets and showers, which were really appreciated as the days went on. Not gonna lie, even these nice toilets got pretty, erm, not nice by the end, but, y’know, what you gonna do, it’s a festival. However, the showers were a god send (except when the one my girlfriend was in stopped working mid-shower and she came out of the cubicle in her wellies and a towel – needless to say, she wasn’t a happy bunny) Also available for Gold and Silver ticket holders was the Hospitality Arena – and this was amazing. The area consisted of two massive tents (like proper festival/circus tents – they were huge) and inside were loads of food options, DJs, a bar, comfy sofas, a dancefloor, and lots of cool lighting and plants (I know that sounds weird, but it was actually really well done). There was also a really nice outdoor area, which was perfect for just chilling out with a drink before things got messy in the evenings. One special shout out in the Hospitality Arena has to go to Muffin Man & Co. So, the food in general at the festival was actually really good, with lots of variety and not too expensive, but this stall was by far and away the best there. Our fave from here was their pork belly and sausage patty burger with homemade coleslaw and sauce in a brioche bun, with chips and paprika mayo. I mean, this wasn’t just great food for a festival; this was great food, full stop. So yeah, thank you Mr Muffin Man, your wonderful culinary creations did me the world of good.
So, that’s what the Hospitality Arena had to offer, but what was there for all those who hadn’t got the upgrade? Well, to be honest, the standard site was still absolutely top notch; there was so much on offer! From Fat Frank’s Camping Store, which offered ‘free blow jobs with every purchase’ (for airbeds, you dirty dog), to foot massages, to even a barbers, there was something for everyone (and yes, we did actually see people getting their hair cut over the weekend). There was glitter, henna, UV paint stalls, hair braiding, the list goes on - everything you could possibly need to get yourself into the festival vibes. I’ve mentioned the food in Hospitality, but the grub on offer in the normal site was also fantastic; there were all kinds of burgers, pizzas, toasties, and pastas, perfect ballast for the big nights and heavy boozing. There was also an enormous rollercoaster ride thing, and I’m pretty sure it didn’t stop going all weekend. Honestly, it would be going when we woke up and would still be rocking when we went to bed in the early hours. And there were ALWAYS people on it. I personally couldn’t think of anything worse than being catapulted into the sky at high speed when i've had a few bevs, but evidently it works for some people. Each to their own I suppose.
And now for the pièce de résistance: the music. Creamfields is renowned for its devotion to electronic music and when I was offered to go, I leapt at the chance before I’d even seen the lineup; but even so, with its massive reputation, the lineup still absolutely blew me away. There was all kinds of electronic music, from EDM, to trap, to house, to techno, with literally everything in between. There were your more mainstream, bona fide superstar DJs, like Calvin Harris, Avicii and DJ EZ, but then there were your more under the rader maestros such as Kolsch and Alan Fitzpatrick. This year’s Creamfields even played host to Avicii’s last ever UK performance. I honestly can’t do the line-up justice, and, to be honest, it was almost a shame there was so much on, as, inevitably, some of it clashed. Maybe lengthen it to a full week next time guys? Before I get any more carried away with waves of musical nostalgia, here are my highlights from the weekend:
Jamie Jones – head honcho at Hot Creations, and a true British DJ icon, Mr J Jones was headlining the Towers Arena on Friday night (as a sidenote, the Martinez brothers played before him and they were f*cking epic as well, but I’ve got limited word space in this article, sorry guys). Fresh from his summer residency of Paradise parties at Ibiza’s DC 10, I was ready for some smooth techno from the maestro and he sure didn’t disappoint. I was absolutely blown away by the sheer generic diversity of the set and simply how tight it was. He finished on an absolute classic, Angie Stone’s ‘I Wish I Didn’t Miss You’, which had the crowd rocking all the way back to the campsites.
Hot Since 82 – Renowned for his superb selection and masterful mixing, I had high hopes for slick Leeds-based lad Hot Since 82. And he certainly lived up to the hype; Hot Since 82 graced us with a house-y, upbeat 2 hours, closing his set with old-school house banger ‘Big Love’ by Pete Heller (an absolute of mine). Safe to say, the entire place went off.
MK – ok, so Marc Kinchen isn’t exactly an underground DJ per se, but we thought we’d head along on the Sunday anyway. And, boy, are we glad we did. Mr Kinchen pulled out a cracking (if maybe a little predictable) set, which got the packed arena moving and grooving. He dropped all his classics, including his ‘Teach Me’ remix and, obviously, ‘My Head Is A Jungle’. Now, I’m often accused of being a music snob by my friends, but you really cannot beat losing your sh*t to a bit of pop-house, and MK really is the king.
Fatboy Slim – Oh. My. God. This was quite possibly the best set I’ve ever seen, but even that doesn’t do this justice. Fatboy Slim’s Smile High Club was a complete sensory overload. The visuals were incredible, with big red lips mouthing the words, acid house smiley’s popping up everywhere, and, my personal fave, Fatboy’s face in a variety of masks (kinda like snapchat filters, but waaay cooler). There were massive smiling robots in the corner of the arena, an ‘Acid Converter’ in the other (what the hell was that?!) and lasers and lights flashing in every colour under the sun. As a spectacle, it was absolutely incredible. Oh and the music wasn’t half bad either, with Fatboy dropping samples from everything from ‘House Every Weekend’ (mouthed by an image of an old man on the massive screen behind the decks) to ‘We Are Your Friends’, to Fatboy Slim classics like ‘Right Here Right Now’ and ‘The Rockafeller Skank’. And he closed with ‘Praise You’, as hundreds of yellow balloons with acid smileys on them fell from the ceiling, as he came out to the front of the stage and sprayed the crowd with some kind of smoke throwing, fire extinguisher, machine gun look-a-like thing. Hats off to you Mr. Slim, you certainly know how to throw a party, and it was the perfect end to a fantastic weekend.
Good Vibes All Round
Just a final word before we go. Of course, the music, food, camping and all that stuff always helps make a festival great. But what’s most important in my eyes is that intangible substance, that magical formula, the gold dust that is ‘good vibes’. And credit to all those at Creamfields over the weekend cos there was good vibes in abundance. Everyone was having an amazing time, there was no aggro or any issues, it was just a massive group of people there for a few days of good fun. So yeah, if you’re debating whether to go next year, I couldn’t encourage you anymore. And from us at Licklist, Creamfields, it’s farewell but not goodbye. Or as one of my fellow campers shouted through a megaphone at 3am, ‘Sweet dreams Gold Camping… D*cks out for Harambe’.